The UK has the largest, most concentrated and accessible cyber-security market in Europe. The Midlands, with its manufacturing focus and proximity to the government’s security HQ, has recently seen rapid growth in its cyber sector and development of digital data breach expertise.

At the frontline of the Government’s cyber security strategy (Tech Nation UK), Worcestershire & Malvern contain the UK’s leading regional cluster for the sector. Home to the National Cyber Skills Centre, and working alongside GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre in London, the regions expertise has put it at the forefront of the UK’s tech security industry.

Cybersecurity is now a leading catalyst of growth across the Midlands. The small to medium-sized businesses currently operating in the market are expected to continue to scale up as the global sector growth unlocks over $1 trillion of spending power by 2021.

An increasing number of national and international businesses are moving to the region, as organisations realise that cybersecurity is one of the top business risks they need to identify and manage. PwC, for example, have recently created a national cyber practice to bring the best capabilities from around the world to serve local clients in the Midlands.

The growth in the need for cyber expertise is present across the whole region. In Nottinghamshire, Space Data Centres Ltd have just opened a £2 million data centre to meet the increased demand for secure storage and £34 million has been invested in a Grade A data-centre (PDC) in the middle of Birmingham to serve cyber and financial needs.

In Coventry & Warwickshire demand is driven by companies active in sectors from transport technologies, to defence, financial services, and energy such as Jaguar Land Rover, Naysmyth, National Grid, IRESS and Telent. Big data, the internet of things and autonomous systems are all of concern to these organisations and their supply chains.

In Malvern, one of the UK’s first 5G test beds will be built in 2018. It will focus on 5G commercial applications with leading companies such as QinetiQ, Worcester Bosch, and Yamazaki Mazak to enable development in cybersecurity industry applications, Industry 4.0. and sensor data management. Worcestershire and Malvern host the region’s highest concentration of cyber companies, 20% of these being amongst the UK’s top 600 companies.

University strengths

How many grads in cyber each year!
Many of the region’s over 20 universities offer world class training in cyber. The Wolverhampton Cyber Research Institute at the University of Wolverhampton has partnered with the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity (CIC) at University of New Brunswick to work on an exciting cyber-security research project.

In the UK’s second city, Birmingham is home to a university which focuses on cyber throughout the rail sector, including the National College for High-Speed Rail. Leicester and De Montfort Universities have an award-winning data centre, a high-performance research lab and innovation centre to support cyber work.

Coventry University offers first degrees and master courses in cybersecurity, ethical hacking, and the UK’s first cyber security MBA. The Cyber Security Group at the Centre for Mobility and Transport (CMT) at Coventry University have worked with HORIBA-MIRA on automotive cyber security, investigating both testing and design aspects of security on vehicular platforms.

The University of Warwick offers first degrees in cybersecurity, one of only two BSc degrees in the UK that have National Cyber Security Centre provisional certification.

Both Keele & Staffordshire Universities offer a variety of cyber-related degrees including Cyber Security BSc (Hons); Forensic Computing BSc (Hons); Computer Networks and Security BSc (Hons); MSci covering all elements of Cybercrime and IT Architectures.

Centres of excellence

The University of Birmingham’s Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber-Security Research is a partnership scheme supported by the government. WMG at the University of Warwick hosts the Cyber Security Centre (CSC) focusing on vehicle control systems, building management systems, smart city infrastructure, industrial control and medical devices. It includes the Automotive Cyber Security Research Partnership and the National Trustworthy Software Initiative (NTSI), a multi-million-pound programme designed to enhance the cybersecurity of many of our everyday technologies and tools.

The Cyber Security Research Group at Coventry University’s Centre for Mobility and Transport (CMT) is a team of multi-disciplinary researchers addressing issues of systems security for automotive, rail and connected infrastructure. Staffordshire University has recently invested over £12 million in developing a Digital Kiln, game-changing facilities to further drive growth in this digital sector.

Incubators & Accelerators

The region has a healthy and evolving cyber eco-system for incubators and accelerators, including e-Spark Birmingham & Innovation Birmingham. These focus on rail tech including ‘BlockMark’ working with ‘Go-Ahead Group’ & ‘LM Labs’ on ‘Ticketty Boo’, the Future of Ticket Detection (FTD), applying blockchain technology to the challenge of frictionless ticketing.

Warwick Incubation Centre at Warwick University, Coventry’s TechnoCentre, SPARK Innovation Centre at Wolverhampton University, Hydra HPC System at Loughborough University and The UK Cyber Forum is headquartered in Malvern, Worcestershire all add to a rich welcoming ecosystem.

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